Do you own a restaurant, a cafe, or a bar and are feeling the pinch during these unusual times? Are you ready to open for business but unsure how to quickly bounce back from the coronavirus pandemic?
While COVID-19 has had a significant impact on many industries globally, there’s no denying that the hospitality and tourism industries are among the most affected. However, not all is lost!
As the world shifted online, locked up inside a house or an apartment, many cafe, restaurant, and bar owners have been forced to rethink their marketing strategy and develop innovative ways to prepare to reopen for business. Most importantly, they’ve had to think outside the box to re-engage with customers, reassure them, and thrive once again. If they’ve done it, so can you!
To assist you on your road to recovery and success, we’ve shared below our 3 top tips to speed up your recovery. Ready?
Maximise the Benefits of Digital Marketing
Now more than ever, people are conscious that purchasing from small and local businesses is critical to help them survive and flourish once again. To appeal to new customers, tell your story as a local business, share your plans and ambitions and update them about your new opening times or simply let them know you’re open for business via your website and social media. Use digital mediums to communicate about the measures you’re implementing to ensure everyone is safe at your venue.
You can also rely on your trusted network of loyal customers. They know you, they trust you, and really... they love you! Some of them already follow you on social media. Word-of-mouth will take care of the rest ;) Also, make sure you send regular newsletters updating them about the latest daily specials on offer, discounts currently available, or the amazing events you’re planning to organise when things get back to normal.
Another powerful way to leverage social media is to run digital campaigns to attract potential customers. Take high resolution and mouth-watering pictures of your best dishes, cocktails, or drinks and craft an incredible ad optimised for Facebook, Instagram, or Google ads. Make sure you include all your details on the ad, such as venue location and opening hours.
Use Direct Mail Marketing
Yep, you read that right! Direct mail has been proven to be a great tool to boost brand awareness and increase sales. According to a report published by MarketingSherpa.com, 76% of people, and more specifically 70% of millennials, trust mail advertising. Not bad, huh? What’s more, mail marketing has a return on investment of 29%. Combined with Digital Marketing and paid ads, direct mail is a great way to get your wonderful venue bustling again and your revenues back up to pre-covid numbers. Mail is powerful because it will stay at the forefront of the reader’s mind and stand out against the competition. Indeed, as connected individuals, we get bombarded with online ads every day, so sending mail allows you to stand out. Besides, studies have revealed people associate print collateral with authenticity and trust. Do you still think mail marketing is old-school? We know we don’t!
Harness Digital Solutions
To reassure customers that your venue is safe to visit and minimise the risk of transmission, you can harness a few innovative tools:
- QR Codes
QR codes are becoming the norm to avoid the risks of transmission. Make sure your loyalty programs and food and drink menus feature QR codes so that your customers can easily download them onto their smartphones.
- Digital Waitlists
Another way to reduce the risk of virus transmission is by doing away with buzzers or any other objects (like a pen to write down their names on a waiting list) that you would normally use. Instead, send a text when a table is ready or available and create a digital waiting list. This is a great way to collect phone numbers for future marketing campaigns while ensuring your customers are safe.
- Contactless payments
In addition to offering tap-and-go options and putting a stop to accepting cash, allow your customers to order and pay ahead of time using your website or your app. This simple add-on digital feature can help minimise your customers’ time on the premises and ensure minimal queueing at the cash register or on the pavement in front of your venue.
We hope this article will leave you feeling empowered and ready to get back on track! You’ve got this ;)